Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

Reviewed by Jen

There were things I really enjoyed about this book, but I had some issued that kept it from being a total hit for me. This is a runaway bride story and I don’t have any problem with that on principle, but I struggled a bit because her intended really wanted to marry her and his best friend ended up taking his place.

Olympia isn’t a great beauty. She loves books and wears glasses and she’s been voted Most Boring lady for the past several years running. But Ashmont, a disreputable duke, recognized something special in her, and decided to ask for her hand. She said yes to take care of her family, but got drunk and bolted before the ceremony.

Ripley’s job was to make sure his best friend’s wedding went off without a hitch. So when he spots the bride-to-be on the run, of course, he has to follow her. He plans only to keep her safe and help get her back to his buddy when she sobers up, but they encounter one problem after another and it’s not nearly so simple.

Over the course of the story, Ripley begins to see all of the nuances to Olympia that make her special. She’s not boring, she’s daring… and smart… and lovely. But he keeps reminding himself that Ashmont truly wants to marry her. Ashmont was moved by her strength and kindness and it frankly it made me sympathetic toward the jilted fiancé. But Jen, you might say, Ashmont is disreputable – he drinks and duels and he’s always in the gossip sheets.

Guess what? So is Ripley. But he was the only one who deflowered the virgin would-be bride. Ripley is totally a crap friend and it doesn’t speak very highly of his character.

Olympia was only slightly better. At least she didn’t actually care about Ashmont when she jilted him. (I guess that doesn’t really sound better when I read that back, but it is better, trust me.) The woman loved her books, though, and at least I could relate to that.

This is the first installment in the Difficult Dukes series, but it felt like I was jumping in mid-series, with references to the third duke and his wife (Ripley’s sister.) I guess that’s a mystery to be solved later, but it made me off balance to have their relationship referenced like I should already know all about it.

There were some good parts. Some funny parts (especially in the beginning). And I always appreciate it when a man realizes the value of an undervalued woman. I just couldn’t get behind it 100%.

And on a side-note, I felt like Loretta Chase left me hanging with the backstory on Ripley’s aunt. There was obviously something interesting happening with her and Ashmont’s uncle, but it was left totally unresolved. Boo.

Rating: C+/B-

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

A Duke in Shining Armor
by Loretta Chase
Release Date: November 28, 2017
Publisher: Avon

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